Feebris has the potential to transform healthcare, enabling communities to monitor and diagnose life-changing health conditions. Co-founded by Elina Naydenova and Adam Bacon, the startup is developing a mobile platform that connects to a wide range of point-of-care devices, including digital stethoscopes and wearables, and enables minimally trained users to capture essential health measurements. It then uses signal-processing and machine-learning algorithms to extract important markers of disease and fuse them into actionable diagnostic outputs.
Elina is a biomedical engineer passionate about making healthcare effective for vulnerable populations, such as children and the elderly, across the globe. Following a stint working for the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2014, she began exploring ways to reduce childhood pneumonia, a condition that globally kills more children than malaria, TB and HIV combined, mainly due to late diagnosis. After first envisaging a solution that would leverage advancements in machine learning to bring accurate and early diagnosis to children in low-resource settings, she went back to Oxford University to complete a PhD in Machine Learning for Healthcare Innovation and develop deep tech expertise. In 2018, Elina and Adam launched Feebris.
Feebris bridges the gap between communities and health systems. Through Feebris, simple assessments outside of clinics can power early diagnosis, which in turn can reduce avoidable mortality and morbidity. Their vision is to transform healthcare globally and make it equitable, personalised and patient-driven.
According to Elina: “During my research in India’s urban slums, I saw first-hand how children were suffering from treatable conditions and not getting the help they needed. Created as a result of my experiences, our mission at Feebris is to fight these inequalities in global health through the power of technology. Our platform is designed to help vulnerable patients get to timely and accurate diagnosis, improving their chances of recovery and also reducing pressures on the health system which result from avoidable hospitalisations.”
With expertise spanning biomedical engineering, machine learning, global health and business, the team has three core aims:
> Democratise access to high-quality early diagnosis to prevent avoidable deaths and complications across the globe.
> Build its artificial intelligence (AI) platform in an ethical and evidence-based way to ensure full compliance with clinical, data security and policy regulation.
> Empower carers and health workers to deliver life-changing diagnosis and monitoring in communities, removing barriers to health access worldwide.
In early 2019, the team grew to four and is currently hiring another three members. Whilst extremely diverse in their skillsets (from doctors, through to AI engineers to business strategists), they are all united by their mission to improve primary healthcare for millions of people.
Following a successful study with 1300 children, where outcomes were comparable to doctor success rates, Feebris’ technology is now used in India to deliver 10,000 health checkups for children under the age of five.
In early 2019, Feebris raised £1.1m in seed funding, including investment from 24 Haymarket and a grant from Innovate UK. The company is also supported by Social Tech Trust (through the Tech to Unite Us programme), Google for Startups (through the AI for Good Residency programme) and HS. In the next 18 months, key milestones include securing CE certification for the platform, delivering high-impact health economic benefits through their child health work in India, and launching pilots with the Feebris elderly application alongside public and private partners across the UK.
Case study published in June 2019.